I remember reading an article a number of years ago by Jenny Crusie. She advocated for writers to give up their goal to be published, and compared it to the pre-feminism era when a woman’s goal was to be married. Both are totally out of your hands. You’ve no control over whether you succeed or fail.
A goal should have a definable outcome that you have control over, for example, writing a certain number of words a day. A publisher isn’t going to play by your rules and send you that contract to meet your deadline.
BUT I do think having something to aim for pushes you to work harder; pushes you to keep trying, even through the hard times; pushes you to set achievable goals (all of which will take you that one step closer).
It may be splitting hairs, a goal versus something to aim for, but I value the difference, and will continue to have publication as that gold star to aim to.